Aliya King in red lipstick

TueNight 10: Aliya S. King

(“I was told, growing up, that Black girls could not wear red lipstick, ever. Today, I have at least 20 shades of red. And am always looking for a new one.”)

Age: 46

Bio: Aliya S. King is a writer and podcast producer (Good TalkWriting Practice). Her podcast network, Good Talk Productions, launches this summer. Her latest book, Keep Your Head Up, will be out from Denene Millner Books | Simon and Schuster in 2021.

Beyond the Bio: I’ve been sober for nine years. And in 2016, I worked with a team of folks to get my mental health in check. Now in full remission from Bipolar 2 for four years. Thanks to both of those things, I’m on my seventh book and doing all the fun professional things. I have two babies who are not babies but are still amazing. And I have a partner who completes me in the corniest of ways.

What makes you a grown-ass lady? I wear caftans, un-ironically. Like, full-on Mrs. Roper-steeze. I wear long-ass stiletto nails with matte polish. In general, I do things because I want to and because I can. Last year, I joined a dating site, created a too-long list of what I wanted. The person who appeared? We’ve been joined at the hip for a year. He asked me to marry him last month. Grown-grown.

Here’s her TueNight 10:

1. On the nightstand: Too many chargers, (watch, phone, headphones), notebook for daily morning musings, Uniball pens, (and ONLY Uniballs). I have a tiny brass sparrow, to remind me of the song His Eye Is On The Sparrow, a tiny jar of mustard seeds, to remind me to have the faith of just a single mustard seed, makeup remover wipes, a photo of me and my youngest daughter—and four coffee cups with a tiny bit of coffee left in each. To drive my partner crazy.

2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: I just bought a bike. Haven’t been on one in decades. It’s exhilarating. Also hurts like hell. I just learned I have to go at least 50 miles before it stops hurting. I’m on mile 5. 

3. Jam of the minute: Issues/Hold On by Teyana Taylor. I love her raspy voice and the lyrics are a perfect fit when I’m feeling guilty about fussing with my partner. 

4. Thing I miss: My daughter. She’s 23 years old and moved to Los Angeles right before the pandemic. I haven’t gone this long without seeing her since, ever. 

5. ’80s crush: Ralph Tresvant and Raphael Saddiq.

6. Current crush: Young M.A. I’m straight. But if she gives me a call, I’m just saying.

7. Latest fave find: It’s not latest. I’ve loved this line for ages. A new outfit from Onion by Whitney Mero can bring me to actual tears. I have three on the way.

8. Last thing you lost: MY PLANNER. I am serious about my planners. During the pandemic, I didn’t need one so I stored it somewhere. And now I can’t find it. It pains me to no end. I finally broke down yesterday and designed another. I know the lost planner will now resurface and I will want to throw things. 

9. Best thing that happened recently: I guess the easy answer is that I got engaged. I feel weird about saying that because it’s like, eye roll. But this man is the best. I’m so proud of our growth in the past year.  

10. Looking forward to: I’m restarting with my personal trainer this weekend. I’m petrified.

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